On Thursday, March 21, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners plans to adopt a resolution honoring the life of a man who struggled in his youth, was labeled as mentally retarded in school and then went on to be an amazing success story by creating the Dudley Hair Care Products empire and making his fortune.

Joseph Louis Dudley, Sr. passed away on Thursday February 8 after an incredible life.

Dudley was born the fifth of eleven children in Aurora, North Carolina in 1937.

According to the resolution to be adopted, “A young Joe Dudley suffered from a speech impediment, labeled mentally retarded, and held back in school; eventually overcoming disparate societal treatment and challenging the status quo to become a successful business tycoon.”

The resolution also notes that, while Dudley was a student at what was then North Carolina A&T College, he purchased a $10 Fuller Products sales kit and used his sales skills to pay for his college courses.

He graduated with a degree in Business Administration.

Mentored by Samuel Fuller, Dudley went into business for himself and, with his wife Eunice, started Dudley Hair Care Products Company. The two started out by mixing products in their kitchen and they turned that into a business that operated worldwide. The couple also helped other African American entrepreneurs get their start and launched the Dudley Beauty School System.

Dudley became a millionaire before he was 40 and wrote the inspirational book, “Walking By Faith: I AM, I CAN AND I WILL.”

He was bestowed countless honors for his work and charitable efforts throughout his life.

The resolution to be adopted concludes, “Whereas, this beloved patriarch dedicated his life to humanitarian endeavors, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship; a visionary and advocate for a strong work ethic; impacting countless individuals by sharing his tremendous international business acuity; known for his ground-breaking achievements in the beauty manufacturing and distribution industry; guided by his faith, passion for excellence, and his ambition to live by his mantra of ‘I am, I can, and I will’….

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners wishes to honor an enduring legacy that is nearly six decades strong, and express our admiration and appreciation for the life of Dr. Joseph Louis Dudley, Sr. and salute his many accomplishments; and that a copy of this resolution be presented to his family as a symbol of gratitude for his leadership skills, entrepreneurial talents, and dedicated service to both country and community.”